American Heart Association Takes Initiative To Encourage Folks To Study STEM Careers

BANGOR, Maine (WABI) - Rebecca Adams, Corporate Development Director said, "Heart disease is the number one killer of women specifically so, this is an opportunity to hopefully get some of these younger women to pursue careers in studies."

Local high school students gathered at the Dyke Center for Family Business at Husson University Wednesday for the American Heart Association's "Stem Goes Red."

"We have somebody speaking about creating a resume especially in STEM careers. We have somebody speaking about the video game industry and what it looks like for girls to be in the game industry. We have a doctor from Jackson laboratory talking about heart disease,” said, Adams.

It's all a part of an initiative to promote science, technology, engineering and mathematics careers or STEM.

The hope is that students will want to become cardiologists, scientists or researchers who can help cure diseases such as heart disease.

Adams said, "Heart disease is basically 80 percent preventable. If we can get them started now and talking about it now that could be the next generation that maybe is going to fix the problem of being the number one cause of death."

Doctor Milena Furtado, Associate Research Scientist at Jackson Laboratory said, "I mean we earn these kids an explanation about what we do but, we would also like to make sure that some of these kids see that biomedical research is an option for the future and how they can help other people by studying diseases and trying to make them go away from our community."

Furtado said finding a cure for heart disease has many people hard at work.

She explained, "We are working around the clock and a lot of people are working around the clock so, this is not a job for one person or 10, it's a job for maybe thousands."

Organizers hope that this year's event is the first of many.

Adams suggested, "This is our first year of “STEM Goes Red.” We hope to be able to grow this and hopefully take this state wide."